Port Charles needs a Ted Lasso

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Who let Sasha have a knife? Why didn't they just give Curtis amnesia like Ned and Esme? Why didn't Carly bring Drew brownies in prison? So many questions to answer in this week's Two Scoops.

Readers, if you enjoy TV like I do, you have undoubtedly watched Ted Lasso. If not, the basic premise is this: a lady wins a soccer team in a divorce, which was the prize possession of her cheating ex-husband. Her goal is to absolutely destroy the team for revenge against her ex. She hires an American college football coach to coach a pro-British soccer team. Ted knows nothing about soccer and, by all counts, is destined to fail. But Ted is so perfectly cheerful, kind, and uplifting that he inspires the team to great success and changes the heart of everyone he encounters. It's an inspiring and uplifting tale.

What does this have to do with GH and the good people of Port Charles? After this week of shows, I can only assume there is some network executive who has decided he wants to purposely tank GH and is rewriting popular stories and recasting popular actors just to enrage fans and turn them away in droves so he can cancel GH and put on another lame and uninteresting talk show in its place. What other explanation can there be for this mess? (Real answer: writers' strike.)

You know I love General Hospital. I have watched it for 45 years -- over four decades of highs and lows. I have seen great storylines: B.J.'s heart, Stone's death, Luke and Laura, Jerry Jacks taking the Metro Court hostage, Frisco and Felicia, Duke and Anna, Robert and Holly, Brenda wearing a wire on Sonny, Lucky and Liz, etc. I have seen the bad storylines: Casey the alien, Bill Eckert, the Balkan, Nikolas' amnesia and the weird chick in the woods, Ric holding Carly in the panic room to steal her baby for Liz, Nina delivering Ava's baby and stealing Avery (but now they are besties!?), Fluke, Drew thinks he's Jason, etc.

I have gone the distance with this show, with multiple ups and downs over the decades, as have many of you. But I was incredibly annoyed watching some of the convoluted stories and multiple recasts this week. I must address it because I care about this show and don't want it to tank!

When I watched Wednesday's show, I felt my blood pressure rise with each horrible new revelation. First, the announcer told us we had another new Molly, just as we were getting used to the first replacement. I know the first revisit Molly was a temp used as a placeholder for Haley Pullos, thinking she would return soon. But now that it appears her troubles will keep her away longer than expected, they had to recast more permanently. Could the original recast not stay?

But the part that breaks my heart is the timing. For years, the writers had the Emmy award-winning Lexi Ainsworth and Haley Pullos at their disposal, and they barely ever wrote for them. Now, both characters have been recast, and the writers suddenly have material for them? Make it make sense.

Next up, Portia was reaming Spencer out about whether or not he's the best thing that ever happened to Trina. I heard my voice say to the TV, "Hey, Portia, you are definitely the worst thing to have happened to Taggert and Curtis." Thank God my parents never meddled in my love life. They just sat back, watched, and laughed as I got engaged five times to several unsuitable gentlemen. When I told my parents I was engaged to the guy I eventually married, my mom said, "Tammy Lou, I have been through this with you too many times before. I won't believe it until you walk down the aisle." I couldn't even be mad at her because she wasn't wrong. Portia, just let her decide if it's right or wrong and walk away.

But wait, there is more; this was also a Gladys-heavy episode. When Gladys reminded Sasha to take her new "meds," she did. As soon as Sasha took the pill, she hallucinated Cyrus and stabbed Cody! Ugh.

And to round out the chaos, our beautiful Boy Scout Taggert, who has been on the straight and narrow for as long as we have known him, suddenly pulled a flask from his pocket and put 2/3 whiskey into his coffee. C'mon, man. Seriously? If you wonder if I yelled "WTF?" at my TV, I did.

I can't believe the powers that be think this is what viewers want to see. I can't believe they don't know how much we are jonesing for more Sprina scenes, for Esme to get her comeuppance, for Nina to be found out as the person who turned Carly in to the SEC and put Drew in prison, for Ms. Wu to put Gladys out of her misery, and so many other storylines. We just need one Ted Lasso in the writer's room to say to the powers that be, "Hey, guys, let's throw those nice GH fans a bone and write some Sprina love scenes for them."

But without a Ted, the writers are stuck with storylines that aren't clicking with viewers. They have given both Esme and Ned amnesia. I was terrified that when Curtis woke up, he would not remember Portia or Marshall. I wouldn't mind if he still thought he was married to Jordan, just to stick it to Portia. I have not liked Portia's writing for a long time. Portia is a doctor, but they write her like a whiny, lovesick fourteen-year-old. She's meddling worse than Aunt Stella these days. But no, it's not amnesia this time. It's worse; Curtis is permanently paralyzed. Why does everyone have to be so incredibly miserable? Can't anyone be happy in your twisted version of Port Charles?

I did enjoy the Pine Valley tie-in with Jackson Montgomery, Lucy, and Felicia. Seeing Jackson Montgomery and hearing Erica Kane's name mentioned was fun. It seems clear that Martin's ex had something to do with the idea of the Deceptor and that he doesn't want Lucy blabbing about his part in it. Why? His ex is paying hefty monthly alimony fees that he doesn't want to lose. But this storyline doesn't seem to have legs beyond that, unless I am missing something.

I predict that Lucy is going to have a lousy summer. Both her love life and business life are going to be rocky. In the "Face of Deception" area, Sasha just stabbed Cody. Who will replace her as Sasha gets packed up and sent to Ferncliff? I suppose Maxie will have to hold off on buying that new house.

Sasha isn't going to be able to shake this one off. She will end up sitting in a rocking chair in Ferncliff with someone brushing her hair like Laura did for years. Sure, they will eventually discover she was drugged. However, she still hallucinated and stabbed someone, which can't be glossed over. Well, it is GH, so maybe it can be, but for an average person, not so much. I think that Sonny is onto the fact that Gladys had something to do with Sasha's breakdown, as Sonny just spent time with Sasha, and she was solid when they met. Sonny's spidey senses were on fire with both Gladys and Austin. I have that gift, too. A built-in B.S. detector.

Readers, I don't care how great of an actress Bonnie Burroughs is; it's time for Gladys to go. Her character is entirely irredeemable. Gladys drugged her dead son's widow so she could steal her money to cover gambling debts. How vile is that? What logical excuse could unwind that web of lies and cruelty? Nothing.

Gladys has been written into a corner. I cannot like her ever again. They must either choose to make her a full-fledged villain, like a toady working for Selina Wu, kill her off, or send her packing. Frankly, I vote to kill Gladys off. Sure, Sasha has suffered a lot of loss already, but after she realizes Gladys has been playing her all these months and plotting for her to fail, it's not such a loss.

But that would leave Sasha totally untethered from the show -- no family, no love interest, no real reason to be there. Is that the plan? To write Sasha off? It must be. In the past, I liked Sasha and rooted for her; I loved her with Michael. I liked her when she pretended to be Nina's daughter, partnering with Valentin, because she came to genuinely love Nina, and I had compassion for her.

But it's hard to root for her these days. I think the writers must desperately hate Sasha. They killed off her baby at Christmas, they killed her husband, they have gotten her hooked on drugs a plethora of times, they had her mother-in-law stealing her fortune to play poker, we had to watch her be publicly humiliated on TV, and now she has stabbed one of her few friends. Nothing good ever happens to Sasha.

For many of us, soap operas are escapism. Watching a beautiful young potential heroine miserable and downtrodden is only fun if she can come back victorious and beat the odds. But Sasha never gets to beat the odds because as soon as she shows the slightest progress, the writers kick her back down again. I just absolutely hate it.

For a minute, it seemed like Cody was being set up as her love interest, which made me hopeful. Sure, he plays a little shady poker, but he's also a good guy who nurtures my sweet little Leo and respects Mama Q. (More about her later!) I liked that Cody had Sasha's back and was looking out for her because he knows Gladys is up to no good with her money. But how close will Cody want to get to a woman who hallucinated he was a drug lord and literally stabbed him in the back? Talk about red flags! I just don't see where this is all going. And frankly, I don't think the writers will be able to map it out and get the train back on the tracks with the strike going on.

Let me be positive for a bit. I loved the scenes of "Eddie" and Leo. That dynamic between Wally Kurth and Easton Rocket Sweda is so precious, I could watch them all day. Whether or not Eddie remembers he's Ned, I am glad the writers are keeping the relationship between them going. But then there is Olivia. She's being completely unreasonable. Her husband has memory loss, and instead of being gentle, patient, and kind to him, she has become a total shrew. She tried to kick him out of his own damned house because he didn't remember her. I don't like the writers making Olivia so mean. Olivia was street-smart and tough in the old days but wasn't as blatantly cruel as her writing this week. I wish Tracy would remind her that it's not really her house to kick Ned out of.

In a dueling troubadours scene stolen directly from the Gilmore Girls, Eddie is playing in the park, only to be confronted by another busker over taking his spot. The scene ended too soon, though, because I really wanted to hear that sing-off. Where is Taylor Doose when you need him?

This set up another lovely scene with the magnificent Jane Elliot -- a stunning scene. Tracy implored Ned to come home and pretend he remembers his family, even if he doesn't. She offered to get him all the help that he needed. Tracy reminded him of how many people miss him and love him and how he is breaking all their hearts. He listened to her but declined her offer and said he could not return. Chase ultimately got him to come home and talk to Leo, which scored major points with BLQ.

In addition, I really enjoyed the hijinks of Lucy and Felicia doing P.I. work to spy on Martin. They are like Lucy and Ethel getting themselves in over their heads in hilarious ways. Since Anna isn't in the WSB or law enforcement anymore, maybe she can join the all-girl P.I. team, bring Sam along, and let the ladies solve all the crimes the PCPD can't seem to figure out.

I am torn about how to feel about Ava and Austin. While I think Roger Howarth and Maura West are dynamite together, I still don't know if Austin is a good guy caught up in a bad situation or a bad guy masquerading as a doctor. I can't throw my full support behind him with Ava because I love her and want the best for her. I am enjoying their scenes right now, though, just because they bounce off one another so well.

But what I really want is for Nikolas to come home and reunite with his wife. Which Nikolas? At this point, I don't care. We just need the character on canvas to move the story forward. It gets Spencer off diaper duty and free to pursue Trina, it gives Esme a chance to reinvent herself because Nikolas might set his baby mama up with anything she needs for the sake of his son, and it brings one of Laura's kids home. It bugs me that the number one heroine on the show has lost her entire family. Lulu, Lucky, and Nikolas are all gone. Her first husband, Scotty, was kicked to the curb, Luke is supposedly dead, and Kevin only pops up periodically. I love her as mayor and as an action hero, but I think she deserves a family, too. I always hope for Tyler Christopher to return, but I am unsure of his health status.

As to our last Nikolas, Marcus Coloma, if you don't follow him on social media, you really should. The web series he and Kin Shriner are doing is hilarious. Yesterday, they had a cameo with William DeVry (Julian) -- I would gladly welcome him back as Nikolas, too. If the powers that be let Nikolas show one-third of the charm and light that Marcus has in real life, he would leap off the screen. Or if, for whatever reason, he is not on the table, how about Colton Scott from the 90s? Or even Adam Huss, who played Nik for like two days earlier this year. Just give me Nikolas Cassadine.

Another thing I really appreciated this week was the Anna/Dante scenes. Dante remembers that Anna was there for him when he returned to town with PTSD. He is determined to be there for her in her time of need the way she was there for him. Anna is beating herself up for her failures, and Dante won't let her forget all the times she saved and rescued people, including him. I hate the notion of cancel culture because I don't think any of us should be judged eternally by our worst mistakes. Dante is determined to help Anna find her way back and protect her, even though she feels she doesn't deserve it. Finola Hughes and Dominic Zaprogna have brilliantly and soulfully acted in these scenes.

Esme. Oh, dear readers, I don't know what to make of Esme. Some days I am 100% certain she truly has amnesia, and the next day I am 100% certain that she is faking. Which is it? Here are the things I believe about Esme. 1) I think she absolutely loves Ace. 2) I think she started out with amnesia. 3) She has a crush on Spencer and wants to keep him away from Trina. 4) I think she has poor judgment because she visited Heather! But I am glad she did because I love Alley Mills in the role, and she's the first version of Heather I accidentally found myself liking. Alley's version of Heather is still crazy, but I felt compassion when she explained to Esme why she gave her up.

But I want Trina and Spencer -- this lightning strike of a supercouple -- to have a summer of romance, and Esme is in the way. I think Uncle Victor's evidence is legitimate, and I hope Joss and Spencer convince Trina to try to have it verified and use it to make Esme pay for her crimes -- unless Nikolas comes home and can distract Esme in some other way. Avery Pohl is a great young actress, and I am all for keeping Esme on the show if she isn't the obstacle for Sprina! Also, I liked Alexis reminding Esme that she has not earned the clean slate she has been given. I hope either Alexis or Laura can help Esme become her best version.

Another thing I am enjoying is the sparring matches between Tracy and Gregory. Those two have more fire than Gregory and Alexis. Gregory can have Alexis as a friend, but I want him to make passionate love to Tracy after their next big fight. Like the Bull Durham kind of lovemaking, where you swipe everything off the kitchen counter. Hot.

But where does that leave Alexis? She's been so unlucky at love. I always loved Alexis with Sonny's brother Ric. Since he's Molly's dad and Molly is in such agony, isn't it the right time to bring Ric home to care for his daughter? But only if they can cast Rick Hearst. If it's a recast, I am out. I can't stand any recasts in that family anymore.

With all my whining this week about the writing, I must make myself clear. I am a writer. I stand with the writers and all their demands to be paid fairly for their work. Most writers are not paid fairly for their work, and I am rooting for them to win. While I may not be thrilled with a few of the current storylines, I understand the pressure they are under right now, and it's probably not very much fun to be in the position they are in.

What will happen tomorrow, dear readers? Will Carly turn her home into an Air BnB and move in with Michael and Willow? Will Delia Reed-Ryan- Ryan-Coleridge-Crane come to town to visit Ava after she finds Mason casing Ryan's bar? Will Eddie Maine take Leo to the aquarium to see squid? Will Alexis notice that Esme stuffed some of her news clippings down her bra when she rifled through Alexis' boxes? Will Sonny find out Ava's nanny is a plant and set her up to relay false info to creepy Mason before crushing his smarmy face into the ground?

Will we find out that Esme is an axe murderer who knocked off the Prince family? Will Killer Miller be able to get the tape Dr. Montague made locked down, since he made it without her attorney present? Will Carly bake Drew brownies with a file inside or just some weed brownies? Will Drew carve Carly's name in the wall at Pentonville with Cyrus' Bible shiv? Will Dex hear Ava and Austin plotting and tell Sonny that Ava is in trouble?

Only tomorrow knows, dear readers, and I will tune in tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

What are your thoughts on General Hospital? What did you think of this week's Two Scoops? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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Two Scoops is an opinion column. The views expressed are not designed to be indicative of the opinions of Soap Central or its advertisers. The Two Scoops section allows our Scoop staff to discuss what might happen and what has happened, and to share their opinions on all of it. They stand by their opinions and do not expect others to share the same point of view.

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